The Flyers announced the full Winter Classic Alumni Game roster just before today's game against the Montreal Canadiens, and well... it's official. This thing is going to be better than the actual Winter Classic. It's even going to be on Versus, eliminating worries that the game wouldn't be broadcast live on TV.
Confirmed Alumni Game participants for your Flyers:
Forwards: Bill Barber, Bob Clarke, Jim Dowd, Orest Kindrachuk, Eric Lindros, Ken Linseman, Dave Poulin, Jeremy Roenick, Al Hill, Bob Kelly, John LeClair, Shjon Podein, Brian Propp, Reggie Leach, Mark Recchi, Rick Tocchet
Defensemen: Terry Carkner, Eric Desjardins, Larry Goodenough, Derian Hatcher, Mark Howe, Brad Marsh, Kjell Samuelsson, Chris Therien, Joe Watson
Goaltenders: Mark LaForest and Neil Little
Coaches: Pat Quinn (head coach), Mike Nykoluk and Keith Primeau (assistant coaches)
Ambassadors (not playing): Gary Dornhoefer, Bernie Parent, Dave Schultz
There's really something for everybody in there. Three Hall of Famers, including the Hall's newest member, Mark Howe. There's the LCB line and two-thirds of the Legion of Doom.
Several former team captains will be on the ice. Mark Recchi, who beat the crap out of the Flyers in the playoffs last year, will be the most fit of the participants. Derian Hatcher and Chris Therien can scare us with their unmatchable foot speed, hopefully not on the same pairing.
The only thing that's really underwhelming on the Flyers side is the goaltenders. Neil Little and Mark LaForest played a combined 40 games for the Flyers during their careers. LaForest played 38 of them. Speaking of underwhelming, though, let's take a look at the Rangers roster.
Goalies: Dan Blackburn, John Vanbiesbrouck
Defensemen: Ron Greschner, Darius Kasparaitis, Tom Laidlaw, Brian Leetch, Dave Maloney, Dale Purinton, Mathieu Schneider
Forwards: Glenn Anderson, Paul Broten, Ron Duguay, Nick Fotiu, Mike Gartner, Adam Graves, Pat Hickey, Kris King, Nick Kypreos, Darren Langdon, Stephane Matteau, Brian Mullen, Darren Turcotte
Coaches: Mike Keenan, Emile Francis, Colin Campbell
Ambassadors: Rod Gilbert, Ed Giacomin, Harry Howell
Not that I'm a Rangers fan, but I can't say I'm terribly excited to see like... any of those guys. Leetch and Graves are cool, I guess, but without Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier, I'm a little disappointed. Mike Keenan won a Cup with the Rangers, so you understand why he's on their side and not ours for this one.
Anyway, Messier still could play and hopes to, according to Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record. He's having shoulder surgery and hopes to be recovered in time, but isn't sure if he will be. Hopefully he plays.
What do you think of the rosters, and are you more excited for this or the real game on January 2?